Software Developer Insurance. Software developers of customized products analyze their clients' software needs, work closely with the clients' internal computer staff and end users, program and test the final product. They may also advise or arrange for the purchase of the appropriate hardware, networking peripherals or similar items.
One of the cornerstones of successful businesses is the software that helps it run smoothly and efficiently. If you operate a business that develops software, then you need to be aware of the specific liability risks that can affect your business and your assets if you are ever found liable for a data breach - an event that can potentially devastate a business that is not properly insured.
In addition to coverage for possible breaches in data, software businesses, like all businesses, must also insure themselves against other perils that come along with business ownership and potential claims that may arise from the use of the software that your company develops. There are a wide range of professionals and businesses who should consider software development business insurance for the what-if's involved in the business. These include software developers, IT project managers and consultants, application service providers, system designers, website developers, hardware installation experts, and computer programmers, among others.
Software developer insurance protects your tech business from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
If you are familiar with the software industry, then you likely understand the process of securing contracts for the development of certain projects. Some contracts specifically address issues of indemnity. For instance, if a product that you design results in a glitch that causes the loss of revenue and business for the company that contracted you to make the software, then you are held liable for that loss. However, with the right type and level of software developer insurance protection in place, you are protected from the fallout of your responsibility, and claims arising from such losses will not put your business at financial risk.
Insurance for software businesses provides a safety net that lets you confidently conduct business. This valuable coverage can pay for legal claims and awards against you, and it can help you maintain your business without a financial setback. Some types of software developer insurance coverage to think about as a development company that can help you mitigate your inherent risks are fairly straightforward and standard, while others are industry-specific. By finding the right mix of both when working with a seasoned insurance agent, you keep your business on the right track and moving forward.
Some specific types of coverage that can protect your business from claims and related loss include:
Limiting your liability and mitigating the risks involved in the operation of your software development business is a tricky matter. Working with an agent who understands the software development niche can help. Agents generally recommend the following types of software developer insurance liability coverage for businesses like yours:
General liability insurance: Accidents happen and this software development policy can protect you if you're held responsible. If a client slips and falls while on your property, you're accused of libel or slander, or you cause damage to someone else's property, this insurance can provide compensation to the damaged party or cover your legal defense and fees.
Business owner insurance: Commonly referred to as a "BOP," this combines general liability insurance with property damage coverage.
These policies are essential in a number of situations. Some possible scenarios where software developer insurance liability coverage can be a godsend include:
Your network management team takes on a gig to upgrade a business' infrastructure, but they miss the deadline because of management breakdown issues. This results in the client losing money, and the client files suit against the service provider as a result.
You are a software vendor who provides software and hardware for a business to record its employee hours. A glitch in the system you install results in employee hours failing to properly record. The system overpays some employees and underpays others. The time clocks require replacement, and claims are filed against you.
You sell a defective computer system to a store; the system does not have the right security precautions on board, and a hacker eventually hacks the database and steals credit card data belonging to customers. The store files a claim against you.
Premises liability exposure is minimal since most client contact is done electronically or by mail. Off-premises exposures arise from sales visits, training sessions, and installation of software or hardware at the customer's premises. There should be policies and training regarding acceptable off-premises behavior.
If the developer works on the client's computer, the client's property could be damaged, either the actual hardware or by corrupting code on the existing software. Personal injury exposures arise from breach of confidentiality as employees dealing with clients have access to their records.
Professional liability and errors and omissions exposures are extensive but vary by the type of software and its intended use. If the customized software is essential to the business's operation or used to provide safety services, the errors and omission exposure will be higher as there may be long-term consequences.
Workers compensation exposure is limited to that of an office, although there may be significant off-site work. As work is done on computers, potential injuries include eyestrain, neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and similar cumulative trauma injuries that can be addressed through ergonomically designed workstations. Back sprains and strains can result from lifting and other material handling if there is any moving of computers or related equipment.
Property exposures consist of an office operation, as well as any incidental storage and areas for service work on computers. Ignition sources include extensive electrical wiring to support computers and servers, heating and air conditioning systems, wear, and overheating of equipment. Fire, smoke, and water can cause significant damage to equipment. Fire protection should consist of chemical applications instead of water.
Although computer equipment can be included as part of the business personal property coverage, more complete protection is available under a computer or EDP policy. A detailed emergency plan should be in place since downtime is not an option. Extra expense coverage is needed more than business income due to contract deadline dates and should be purchased as a part of the EDP policy. The concentration of electronic equipment may be targeted by thieves. Appropriate security controls should be taken including physical barriers to prevent access to the premises after hours and an alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department.
Equipment breakdown exposures are typically moderate. Climate control is essential to proper computer function, and breakdown of the air-conditioning units may cause serious loss. There is also significant potential for direct or indirect loss due to computer breakdown or damage by power surges and power failure, affecting hardware, data, and media. Coverage may be addressed under either an EDP or equipment breakdown policy.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty and computer fraud. Developers may have access to private financial information of their clients, especially for billing purposes, and represent a target item for identity theft. Hazards increase in the absence of proper background checks and monitoring of the insured's workers who may have such access.
Inland marine exposure includes accounts receivable if the programmer offers credit, computers, and valuable papers and records for customers' information. A computer or EDP policy is critical since it covers hardware, software, and media. There should be frequent backup and off-site data storage. Typically the developer works at the client's premises, presenting transit and off-premises exposures.
There is a high risk of theft, both of portable hardware such as laptops and handhelds and of the software programs. Extra expense is an important option to purchase because of the need to quickly return to operation after a loss and meet contractual obligations. Information used to document the programming is not software and must be insured as valuable papers or its digital equivalent. All contracts, documentation, software design, copyrights, and patents, on paper, disks or other media, should be duplicated and the duplicates should be kept off site.
Business auto exposure may be limited to hired and non-owned. There will likely be extensive off-premises work by sales representatives, programmers, and technicians. The developer may have a fleet of private passenger vehicles, require that employees use their own vehicles, or may use rental vehicles. If vehicles are provided to employees, there should be written procedures in place regarding personal use by employees and their family members. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained and records kept in a central location.
Regardless of the precautions you take to avoid these scenarios, things happen. Be sure to protect your development company with the most comprehensive software developer insurance policy possible. Protect your company and its assets by talking about your situation with your insurance agent, who can craft a policy that is custom tailored to your software business' particular needs.
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. Maybe you want to contribute to the economic growth of your community. Whatever the reason is, if you're thinking about starting a small business, it's important to understand pertinent information relating to small businesses in the United States; namely economic information and insurance regulations. After all, if you want your small business to succeed, you have to understand the economic trends organizations of a similar size in your area.
Likewise, you want to ensure that your small business is well protected with the right business insurance and that you are in compliance with the rules and regulations that pertain to commercial insurance in your region.
Read up on economic statistics and insurance information that relates to small business owners in the United States.
Here's a look at some information that was compiled by the Small Business Association (SBA) regarding the economic data that pertains to small businesses in the United States:
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage. The SBA recommends the following insurance plans for small business owners:
Learn about small business IT technology insurance policies that help protect IT businesses, consultants & subcontractors from the unique risks that small tech businesses face when they work.
Some the more popular IT businesses do IT contracting or freelancing work. These businesses have specific risks they face, and can have huge exposures to uncommon risks. Even if the business is very careful, a small oversight or mistake can lead to a large and expensive lawsuit.
For information technology companies, like some of the more popular ones listed below, data security is paramount:
Application Development (Mobile & Web), Business Intelligence / Data Mining Businesses, Computer Installation & Repair, Computer Programming, Computer Retail Store, Data Analysts, Architects & Scientists, Database Administrators, Frontend Developers, Hosting, IT Business Consulting, IT Project Management, IT Staffing, IT Training, Information Technology Consulting, Life Sciences & R&D, Network Architects, Network Security Consultants, System & Network Design, Technical Writing and Web Site Development.
The IT business segment has a critical need for professional liability and errors and omissions coverage. If coverage applies, the insurer has several rights and duties such as providing a legal defense against claims and suits brought by parties claiming damages. The insurer is permitted to investigate all claims to determine whether they are covered by the policy and they may choose to litigate, deny or settle claims.
Most policies providing coverage for electronic data liability, computer professional liability, and computer errors and omissions are claims-made contracts.